Gift Guide: 6 Top Fitness Trackers for $60 or Less

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Exercise trackers, also referred to as fitness trackers or activity monitors, have been all the fuss lately. You know, those bracelets and clip-on devices people wear to track how many steps they've taken, the distance they've traveled, and the calories they've burned throughout the day. The latest offerings can even distinguish between exercises such as a normal push-up and a triangle push-up. Of course, those cost a pretty penny. The best cheap devices still give wearers the insight of seeing their stats and push them to exercise a little more every day. has highlighted four top fitness trackers that cost no more than $60, as well as two new budget trackers released ahead of the 2014 holiday season by Misfit and Jawbone. Both companies have a history of making well-received fitness trackers, and initial reviews for these two models suggest that the trend continues.

All the recommended devices are water (i.e., sweat and rain) resistant and three are waterproof. They use Bluetooth to sync wirelessly with a mobile app and/or online interface and provide a more in-depth and long-term view of the user's activity. There's a definite bias toward Apple iOS devices, although some can sync with Android phones and may or may not sync with a computer. See Cheapism's chart comparing some of the best cheap trackers to be sure you choose a compatible device.


Fitbit Zip is an inexpensive offering from the popular fitness tracking company. The small, clip-on device syncs with Apple and Android smartphones, Macs, and PCs. The information can also be shared with many third-party fitness apps. Fitbit's own online system logs meals, water consumption, workouts, and weight to give a better overview of members' health. Online ratings are especially high for a device in this price range, and many reviewers say they've worked out more since starting to wear it.


The LifeTrak Move C300 is a wrist-worn tracker that doubles as a watch. It syncs with an app for Apple iOS and Android, so users can upload their data with the press of a button. Reviewers appreciate having their information displayed on the screen throughout the day. They generally consider this tracker a great deal, noting the built-in heart monitor -- unusual at this price point -- and waterproof protection.


The Spark Activity Tracker was created on behalf of, a free online community centered on healthy living. This is a waterproof, clip-on device that syncs to members' accounts through a computer. Reviews are generally positive, although some users wish there was a screen for checking stats on the go. The tracker uses lights to show how close the wearer is to reaching a preset goal.


This is a clip-on fitness tracker that doesn't oversell itself, identifying as a "smart pedometer." Nonetheless, Striiv Play tracks all the basics, plus how many stairs the user has climbed. It connects to most new Apple iOS devices (although there's no app for Android). Consumer reviewers say it motivates them with challenges and games. They also like the ability to connect with popular apps such as MyFitnessPal.


This small, round tracker can be clipped on or worn on the wrist, where it doubles as a watch. The device is waterproof and available in five colors but lacks a display screen; instead 12 LED lights indicate daily progress. Initial online reviews are mostly positive. Users like that the tracker doesn't need charging (a replaceable battery lasts about six months) and syncs to smartphones easily. The Flash is compatible with the Misfit app and many other iOS and Android fitness apps. But, as is the case with most budget fitness trackers, the accuracy of the step counter isn't perfect. Reviewers also have mixed feelings about the aesthetics. Some like the minimalist design while others think it looks and feels cheap.


This is another small tracking pod that can be worn as a clip-on or put into a strap and worn on the wrist (wristband not included). The biggest selling point for the Up Move, according to CNET, is that it provides access to Jawbone's excellent fitness app, available on iOS and Android devices. (Although the app can also be used with smartphones that double as pedometers, it's a drain on battery life.) The Jawbone Up Move is battery-powered and uses indicator lights to show progress toward a goal or the time. It's available in four colors. Unlike the similar Misfit Flash, the Jawbone Up Move is not waterproof.